FAQ: Biking during shelter in place

Shelter in Place

On March 17, San Francisco’s “shelter in place” order took hold, which was followed by a similar statewide order beginning on March 20. These extreme measures were taken as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread rapidly throughout California and beyond.

As the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, we want to make sure we are providing you accurate, up-to-date information about what this means for bicycling in San Francisco. As the situation evolves, we will strive to keep this information correct.

Am I allowed to ride a bicycle right now?

Yes, but you can only bike for essential travel (e.g. going to work or buying groceries) and for recreation as long as you practice proper social distancing.

A spokesperson for Mayor London Breed further stated that “people should exercise for mental and physical health, but they should maintain social distance of at least six feet from others and not do it in a group.” Therefore, you’ll have to cancel your group rides until the shelter in place order has been lifted, but you can still continue to bike if you responsibly distance yourself from others.

Do I need to wear a mask when I’m outside biking?

April 3: On April 3, Bay Area public health officials recommended people wear masks to cover their faces while outdoors and in public. A variety of masks and cloth coverings such as bandanas and scarves can be worn safely while biking. Covering noses and mouths with cloth will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but is not a substitute for social distancing. Staying home and washing your hands are still the most important and effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Additionally, medical grade masks, like N95s, are in short supply and need to be reserved for health care workers and first responders.

Are bike shops in San Francisco open for repair or maintenance?

Yes. Bike repair is considered an “essential service” by the San Francisco City Attorney’s office, which means that bike shops are allowed to remain open for repair and maintenance services. We recommend that you call your bike shop ahead of time to see whether they are open, what their hours are, and what social distancing measures they’re using.

Here are the bike shops that we know are currently open:

    • Avenue Cyclery
    • Bespoke Cycles
    • Big Swingin’ Cycles
    • Bike Connection
    • Box Dog Bikes
    • Civic+Sprocket
    • Elevation Bike Co.
    • Freewheel
    • Market Street Cycles
    • Mike’s Bikes
    • Nomad Cyclery
    • Ocean Cyclery
    • Roaring Mouse
    • San Francyclo
    • SF Wheels
    • Velocipede
    • Wiggle Bicycles

We will continue to update this list as we get in touch with more bike shops.

What’s happening with bike share and scooter share?

Bay Wheels will continue to operate their bike share system during shelter in place and provided this update with more information.
Lime announced that they will be temporarily suspending their scooter share service during this time.
Scoot announced that they will be temporarily suspending their scooter share service during this time.
Spin announced that they will continue to operate their scooter share system during this time but will closely monitor the situation.

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